My alarm goes off 45 minutes before I absolutely have to get up. At this point, I can either hit the snooze or catch up on what’s happening in tech or cybersecurity on Reddit on my phone. I choose the latter.
I catch public transport into the city and use this time to slot in some gaming time. I have about an hour to cycle through one or two mobile games while I travel. I pick up a matcha latte on the way to work. Due to our team’s flexible working hours, arrive at the office at 9:30am. I start the day by continuing to catch up on the current news in the cyber realm, keeping tabs on any new and emerging cyber threats, hacker group activities or malware campaigns.
In situations where these events could impact our clients, the threat intelligence team conducts further research, leveraging Deloitte’s global threat intelligence network, in order to provide recommendations for our clients on how to best protect themselves. Today, we’ve received intelligence of a global malware campaign targeting the mining, energy and natural resources industry. We are working on writing up an advisory on this threat to send to our clients who may be impacted.
It is around this time that I sort through my emails, prioritising my tasks for the rest of the day. It takes a lot of focus not to let this be the first priority every day, but our team needs to stay on top of emerging threats and address them as soon as they arise. Our team includes analysts with many different skills and, due to the nature of our work, we often take on multiple roles or focus areas. I currently focus on threat intelligence, vulnerability management and secure code analysis.
Vulnerability management involves assessing clients’ infrastructure (PCs, servers, network devices and websites) for vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. We report on these and provide recommendations on how to apply security patches and best practices. Secure code analysis is similar, except an assessment is performed on applications (for web, mobile and PC), and focuses on how they are programmed. We use the results to help programmers remediate any security flaws they have coded into their apps, and avoid these next time.
Depending on my monthly schedule, sometimes I work on just one of these areas, and sometimes more. Today I am juggling all three.
Around this time, I buy my lunch and try to make time to go for a walk. There’s no shortage of choice in the local area for food; sometimes it’s really hard to choose. I usually eat sushi a couple of times a week. The weather isn’t looking too good, so I decide to eat at our office break out area and try to squeeze in some more gaming. Then it’s post-lunch coffee time!
A client has called the Cyber Intelligence Centre hotline, requesting a vulnerability report on assets in their network, following the news of a global malware campaign targeting their industry. Our threat intelligence team weighs in on the vulnerability report results, linking any security holes to what vulnerabilities the malware campaign is specifically targeting.
I spend the afternoon on some scripting and development work. There is always something that can be made more efficient with automation and enhanced with analytics. I often find myself working on ways to make our day to day operations more efficient with the help of APIs, automated scripts and software integrations. Even though the day can get quite busy with client requests and reports, I try to carve out some time for process improvement work so that we spend less time on manual tasks and more time on analysis!
At this time, I leave work and make my way home. Whenever I can, I try to make sure I leave work ‘on-time,’ so that I have enough time to make dinner and relax when I get home. Although it is tempting to stay online on my phone, I make an effort to only be available when I am specifically on-call for the week. This helps me achieve a good work-life balance and I think it keeps me from burning out. I try to avoid late nights and rarely stay back at the office unless there is something urgent due. Whilst not for everyone, I think this is a key factor in me feeling energised and ready to get cracking again tomorrow.